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 Birthright

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Rends the Gar

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Posts : 357
Join date : 2013-08-29

PostSubject: Birthright   Mon 09 Sep 2013, 23:03

Grass.

Far as the eye could see, nothin' but grass. Goddamn grass.

Sylvester sat alone on a small rise, munching on the apple he'd taken from the Willis kid. Sure the kid had been sick lately and his ma had got him the apple as a special treat for gettin' better, but it weren't Sylvester's fault if the ankle biter were yellow and couldn't keep his goodies. If Sylvester was gonna be stuck out here in the Indian Territory, then at least he could enjoy an apple once in a while.

He took another bite, looking out over the great plain stretching into the sunset in front of him. Way the sun was shining out made it look like the world was on fire, the wind fanning the flames and making them dance. The buffalo out there would be burning too, probably stampeding in a panic of death as they trampled the nearby settlement in their death throes.

Sylvester chuckled to himself.

"What's so funny, Sly?"

Travis plopped down next to his big brother, smiling up at him. Whereas Sylvester was powerfully built and tall even for a sixteen year old, his kid brother was a scrawny willow of a kid at twelve. There wasn't many things could make Sylvester smile out here, but Travis' perpetual smile was one of them.

"Damnit, don't call me that Travis. Weren't nothin'."

Travis slugged him on the arm. Sylvester barely flinched as he took another bite of apple.

"Don't cuss you dummy. Ma'd give you a whoopin'. Pa's already gonna lick ya fer missin' your chores today."

"I told Daniel to take care of them for me!"

"And he run off and told Pa soon as you left. Pa's mighty sore."

Sylvester scowled. He'd have to beat some sense into their middle brother again. He tossed the rest of the apple to Travis as he climbed to his feet and grabbed the rifle lying in the grass beside him.

"C'mon. We can check my traps on the way back. Maybe if it takes long enough Pa'll be in bed drunk before we get back."

Sometimes Sylvester could catch a string of jack rabbits if he cut his chores early enough to set some good snares, but today weren't one of those days. Not a single rabbit in any of his traps. Now looking forward to the coming beating without even the small comfort of skinning some rabbits for comfort, Sylvester lead the way home as Travis started on with one of his tall tales; this time talkin' about them crazies down in Texas and some place called the Elmo or somethin'. Sylvester didn't much care for gossip so he just grunted now and then as his brother rattled on.

Their family'd come here with a smallish group of homesteaders back a few years ago. Sylvester could barely remember coming here, he'd been just a kid. But he did know that this land used to belong to a bunch of Injuns, real tough ones with supposed 'animal guardians' but the settlers had chased them off. Sometimes when he thought real hard he thought he could remember it, fires burning in the night and gunshots all around. Smoke and blood mingling in the air and on the earth...

A savage howl, a flash of black fur, a body falling against the wagon. Ribcage torn open in four wide cuts along the Brave's ribs. The beast looks up from its kill, staring into Sylvester's eye. A mountain of terror before him, the beast let out another howl before crashing off into the Comanchee warcamp and tearing into another group of Braves, blood and guts spilling out as Sylvester watched from the wagon. Never crying, never screaming. Only watching.

Sylvester shook his head as Travis yanked his arm, still yammering. He'd get flashes like that sometimes. Ma said he'd understand when he was older even though he figured he was old enough. She always got that way though, goin' on about how he was 'too close to the Beast'. She was probably the reason Sylvester had such a hard time sneakin' off; there was always a growed up nearby it seemed. Pa only ever talked about it when he was drunk so Sylvester ignored his ramblin' about "Gaia's chosen warrior" this and "Warrior Prince" that. Sounded to him an awful lot like what Minister Perkins taught about, and that stuff always made Sylvester feel sleepy so he just ignored it.

Travis yanked his arm again and Sylvester shoved him a little too hard. The little brother fell to the ground but didn't cry which was impressive for him. He was staring off towards the town, staring silent. Sylvester bit off his cuss halfway out and turned to look as the wind shifted and he caught the smell of smoke.

The horizon burned red. Smoke was on the air, and Sylvester could hear gunshots and screams coming from the town.

"Sly, what's goin' on?"

Sylvester smiled then checked his gun.

"Injuns, I reckon. 'Bout time somethin' happened 'round here! C'mon before we miss all the action!"

Sylvester sprinted down the game trail, Travis barely keeping up. Ten years they'd been stuck out here in the sticks without a damn thing happening except the odd raid on hunting parties or travelin' merchants there was no way in Hell Sylvester was gonna miss the Injun's raid. He had his gun, maybe he'd even take one of the savages out himself! The town girls wouldn't be able to keep off him if he could kill a Redskin!

The two brothers ran along the path at breakneck speed but slowed down for the last quarter mile. There was a small wood on this side of the town where the creek ran through, and they snuck through it quiet as a couple of field mice except for Travis' panting. Sylvester gave him a little smack to shut him up as he lead the way towards town. Parting bush to clear his line of sight, Sylvester raised up his rifle to take aim at a tall shape he took for a Brave mounted on horseback. It was only about fifteen yards away, stepping out of John Henderson's house. But a horse couldn't have fit into the house, could it...?

It wasn't a horse. It was a monster just like from his spells.

Massive claws at the end of its paws, it stood up on two legs though it looked more like a wolf than a man. Sylvester could see feathers tied into its hair which was matted down with something wet. It cleared the doorway, standing up straight and nearly bumping into the awning as it came out dragging something in one of its claws. Mrs. Henderson was a bloody mess but she was still crying, begging to be let go. The monster let out a chilling howl as it threw her out into the street by her hair. She sailed twenty feet, screaming before landing in a heap in front of an out of control wagon. The horses ground her into the dirt before the wagon bumped over her and she fell silent.

Over to Sylvester's right, Travis screamed.

The monster turned its head, sniffing the air and locking its eyes on Travis cowering next to a tree. He was too terrified by seeing his school marm trampled to hide from the monster.

The monster howled and charged Travis.

Sylvester cussed his idiot brother under his breath and raised his rifle to his shoulder, plugging a round right into where he figured the monster's lung must be.

It didn't even slow as it reached Travis.

Sylvester was only ten feet away but he could only watch, too slow to even reload as the beast tore into his brother.

Travis screamed again, but it was cut off as the monster raked a claw over his face then bit out his throat.

Sylvester felt something break inside his chest.

And then he was angry.

He felt the fury burning in his chest. He'd been angry plenty of times before, but this was different. It felt like it was clawing at his chest from the inside trying to get out. It hurt. Sylvester was breathing heavilly. He didn't remember when that started. The world went red. He thought he could see his hands on the ground, claws growing out of his fingernails and digging into the ground as he made fists. He looked up again and the monster was craning its head around as if listening for something, Travis' blood dripping from its jaws. Sylvester blinked and heard a loud CRACK as he felt his ribcage splinter and expand.

Oh God it HURT!

He tilted back his head, looking up into the night sky at the Full Moon. He felt a strange surge of some unbelievable power surge into him. He closed his eyes as it mixed with the rage, and he let out a long loud bestial cry into the night. He looked down again and saw the monster now looking straight at him. Sylvester charged forward on all fours, completely comsumed by the bestial rage. He crashed into the monster in a flash of claws and fangs and remembered no more.

****************

Dawn, the next day.

Sylvester felt like he'd had too much of Pa's whiskey again. His head swam, he couldn't remember going to bed last night. He'd had some nightmre, but that was nothing new. He tried to get up and that was when he noticed the large timber pinning him to the ground.

The fact that he was naked registered a moment later.

"Firs' time's always the worst, boy. I reckon you just set there a spell and let yer head clear."

Pa's voice sounded like he'd had too much to drink too. Sylvester cracked his eyes open and looked around. He was lying in what was left of the schoolhouse, though most of it had been burned down. Pa sat behind Mrs. Henderson's desk, bottle in one hand as he studied Sylvester. Pa had a bandage tied over his chest and his other arm in a sling.

"I hear yer worthless brother di'n so much as chip that Windego's tooth. Little shit never was good for nothin'. 'Least one of mah boys turned out good for somethin'."

Sylvester glared at him, trying to lift the beam off but he was unusually weak. Then what Pa said registered and he felt numb. He thought he'd dreamed that. But Pa knew what had happened. He knew what was goin' on, somehow.

"What am I?"

Pa spat to the side, glaring at his eldest.

"You're Garou. The strongest creature to walk God's green earth. And it's about time you learned your place."

Sylvester glared at him. Pa had been so casual about Travis' death. Didn't he feel the same pulsing anger in his chest as Sylvester? Sylvester thought about his brother and wanted to tear the world apart, and Pa just sat there drinkin' and yammerin'. Sylvester finally shoved the timber aside and got to his feet.

"I ain't interested in what you got to say, old man. I'm heading out. Try and stop me and I'll kill you like I did that Windnigger."

Pa nearly fell out of his chair laughing; Sylvester felt his cheeks burning.

"Just try it, boy. You don't know the first thing about what you are. You won't last a week now that you've had yer First."

Sylvester snarled, grabbing his father by the collar as he tried to tap the rage again. He could feel it there, but it wiggled out of his grasp. He registered a moment of shock before Pa's fist smashed into his cheek, sending him to the ground again.

"I said you need to learn your place, boy. And I aim to teach you. Time I'm through with you, you'll be the greatest killing machine this side of the Mississippi!"

Pa laughed as he took a swig from his bottle.

Keep laughing you bastard. I'll learn just what I need. Then I'll kill you and get out of this Hellhole...
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